In addition to contradicting lore established in XIII XIII-2 ostensibly starts in a parallel world/reality which apparently breaks just before XIII's final cut scene, which by itself is already annoying. Additionally both games suffer from the same narrative problem, that is of course that there is an obvious, and easier solution to the end game than a boss battle. In spite of this and the downer endings I can easily say I like it more than the whole ME3 shit storm, and actually wouldn't mind ending DLC for this XIII-2. I almost think that an in game solution, or expansion is necessary now that Caius has achieved what Ultimecia couldn't, since a sequel would kind of have to start at the end of XIII-2, and that's technically impossible now.
It's hard not comparing the game to Chrono Trigger, which is hands down better, but given how lack luster XIII was in the game play department XIII-2 is way better than it has a right to be. This does highlight a disturbing trend in the video game industry though. Over the past five to seven years I've been seeing a lot of sequels and series that seem like they would have been better had the multiple games simply been one. Don't let me miss lead you, XIII-2 is still terribly linear, but simply having the ability to go back at any time really got rid of the sense of that XIII was just one long hall way punctuated by cut scenes.
I feel drained in a good way.